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14 Best Things to do in Abilene, Texas

Abilene, Texas, is located in the heart of West Texas near the geographic center of the state.

It belongs in the Panhandle Plains region of Texas along with Lubbock, Amarillo, and Palo Duro Canyon.

It is about two hundred miles west of Dallas and one-hundred eighty miles east of El Paso.

Also Read: Ultimate Guide to the 7 Regions of Texas

Abilene can be easily reached via I 20 from Dallas Texas
Abilene can be easily reached via I 20 from Dallas Texas

It’s a great place for visitors looking to explore the great outdoors, set in a beautiful area with rolling hills and gorgeous wildlife.

This charming city is home to several unique attractions including Frontier Texas!, the Storybook Garden, and Buffalo Gap Historic Village.

Abilene also has a vibrant downtown area with eclectic shops, restaurants and art galleries to explore.

Here is an ultimate guide to visiting Abilene, Texas.

Best Things to do in Abilene, Texas

Abilene, Texas is an exciting destination that offers something for everyone.

People come to the city to experience excellent year-round weather and rich Western heritage.

Abilene is known for its fine arts scene, including art galleries, museums and performance venues.

Here are the best things to do in Abilene, Texas.

Frontier Texas is one of the best things to do in Abilene Texas
Frontier Texas is one of the best things to do in Abilene Texas

Step back in time at Frontier Texas!

Frontier Texas in Abilene, Texas is an amazing museum full of interactive exhibits, stories, and artifacts that transport visitors back to the days of the Old West.

The museum allows visitors to explore the trials and triumphs of the old cattle drive era, showcasing hundreds of artifacts depicting daily life on the plains.

Visitors can also experience Texas’ rugged frontier, including a replica jail cell, a blacksmith shop, living quarters from the old fort days, and a spectacular audio-visual show featuring Texas heroes.

Frontier Texas also offers fun educational experiences such as live shooting demonstrations from skilled performing cowboys.

This unique museum gives you a chance to take your kids back in time for an unforgettable adventure into the Wild West!

Also Read: 23 Most Interesting Museums to Visit in Texas

See the historic buildings at Taylor County History Center

The Taylor County History Center in Abilene, Texas is a great place to learn more about the unique history of the area.

It was formerly known as the Buffalo Gap Historic Village and is now home to a variety of historic buildings, including the original Taylor County Courthouse.

Visitors can explore all the wonderful exhibits, such as a replica of a working ranch from the early 1900s, an authentic log cabin, and a traditional Methodist church built in 1884.

The museum also houses a variety of exhibits and artifacts from the city’s past.

You can also visit other amazing historic buildings, including fire station and blacksmith shop.

Ridgeview RV Resort in Abilene Texas is a good place to stay
Ridgeview RV Resort in Abilene Texas is a good place to stay

Take the kids to see the Abilene Zoo

The Abilene Zoo is home to a variety of exotic animals, including lions and tigers, zebras, alligators, and more.

This popular family attraction offers visitors an opportunity to experience the wonders of nature.

The zoo also features special exhibits such as the nocturnal exhibit that showcases some of the amazing night-time creatures in the wild.

Visitors can also take part in educational activities, such as animal talks and interactive learning experiences with zookeepers.

The Abilene Zoo is a great place to explore the natural world and get up close and personal with some of its most fascinating inhabitants.

See the art works at the Grace Museum

The Grace Museum in Abilene is a must for art lovers.

The museum and its five art galleries have a treasure trove of western paintings, historical artifacts, photographs, and even books.

The museum also houses a sculpture garden where you can marvel at the life-sized sculptures, including Native American figures and wildlife.

This art museum has a storied history.

It was formerly the Abilene Fine Arts Museum before being moved into the historic Grace Hotel and renamed the Grace Museum.

Sunset at Lake Fort Phantom in Abilene Texas
Sunset at Lake Fort Phantom in Abilene Texas

Visit the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature

One of the most unique things to do in historic downtown Abilene, Texas!

The National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature (NCCIL) is a vibrant art center dedicated to the creative works of emerging and established artists that focus on children’s books.

The museum showcases over 500 original pieces of artwork from around the world, including many iconic works by renowned illustrators.

Visitors can learn more about the artists and their stories through interactive displays and films.

It’s a wonderful place to explore the world of children’s literature with your little ones!

Also Read: 29 Interesting & Fun Things to do in Texas with Kids

Take a stroll in the Cultural district

In the heart of downtown Abilene, you will find the Cultural District.

This vibrant area of the city offers a unique blend of art, culture, music and entertainment.

The district is home to The Center for Contemporary Arts, which has a variety of exhibitions featuring works from local and international artists.

You can also take in some live music performances at the historic Paramount Theatre or explore one of the many specialty shops that line the streets.

The Cultural District is a great place to get a taste of Abilene’s diverse culture and enjoy some wonderful art and entertainment.

Chimneys at abandoned Fort Phantom Hill near Abilene Texas
Chimneys at abandoned Fort Phantom Hill near Abilene Texas

Visit Historic Fort Phantom Hill

Fort Phantom Hill is a historic site located in Taylor County, Texas.

It was originally built as an army outpost in 1851 and was used to protect settlers from Native American raids.

Today, it’s a popular destination for visitors looking to learn more about the rich history of Abilene.

The fort has been preserved and restored to its original condition, with educational displays and interpretive programs.

Visitors can also explore the grounds and take in breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside.

Go tubing down the Clear Fork of the Brazos River

The Clear Fork of the Brazos River is a popular spot for outdoor adventurers looking for some fun in Abilene.

The river is great for tubing, kayaking, and fishing, and offers spectacular views of the countryside.

If you want to make a day trip out of it, there are plenty of campsites along the river as well as nearby small towns that offer a variety of restaurants and shops.

Abilene Water Tower
Abilene Water Tower

Be enchanted at the Storybook Garden

The Adamson Spalding Storybook Garden is a magical place for kids of all ages.

Nestled in the heart of Abilene, this enchanting garden was designed to bring classic children’s stories to life.

The Garden features lush landscaping, delightful sculptures and interactive displays that will transport visitors into the world of their favorite storybook characters.

It’s a great place to take the kids for an afternoon of fun and learning.

Learn about the universe at the Morgan Jones Planetarium

The Morgan Jones Planetarium is one of the most unique attractions in Abilene.

The planetarium offers visitors a chance to explore the wonders of our universe through interactive exhibits, educational programs and spectacular shows.

Experience state-of-the-art technology as you take in breathtaking visuals of the night sky, learn about the planets, and explore distant galaxies.

The Morgan Jones Planetarium is a truly unique experience for anyone interested in space exploration!

Support local artists at the Center For Contemporary Arts

The Center For Contemporary Arts is a vibrant art center dedicated to supporting local and regional artists.

The gallery features a variety of works from emerging and established visual artists, including paintings, sculptures, photography and multimedia installations.

The Center also offers educational programs and workshops that give visitors an opportunity to learn more about the creative process.

Support local artists and explore some amazing artwork at the Center For Contemporary Arts!

Watch a show at the Paramount Theatre

The Paramount Theatre is a historic venue located in downtown Abilene.

Originally built as a movie theater in the 1930s, it has since been restored to its original glory and now hosts an array of live performances, concerts, and theatrical productions.

Take in some live music or catch a performance from one of the local theaters and get an authentic taste of Abilene’s culture.

Abilene Performing Arts Company as well as the Abilene Ballet Theatre put up performances here.

Take a photo with the iconic Jacob’s Dream Sculpture

Jacob’s Dream Sculpture is an iconic monument located on the grounds of the Abilene Christian University.

The sculpture depicts the biblical story of Jacob’s dream and stands as a symbol of faith, hope and courage.

It is a popular spot for visitors to take photos and admire its stunning beauty.

So don’t forget to snap a few pics with this spectacular piece of art when you’re in Abilene.

Nature trail near Dallas
Nature trail in the park

Enjoy the trails at Abilene State Park

Abilene State Park is a great destination for nature lovers.

The park features several trails that wind through the picturesque landscapes and offer spectacular views of the surrounding countryside.

Visitors can also enjoy fishing, bird watching, and camping in designated areas.

Take a leisurely stroll or go on an adventure and explore the trails at Abilene State Park!

Also Read: 28 Best State Parks in Texas

What are your favorite things to do in Abilene? Let us know below!